We read in the first reading, “And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit just as he did us. He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts.” (Acts 15:10)
Saint Cyril of Jerusalem writes, “O the wonderful goodness of God towards men! The just men of the Old Testament were acceptable to God for the fatigue of many years; but what they managed to obtain through a long and heroic service acceptable to God, is granted to you by Jesus in a brief space of time. For, if you believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved and led into Paradise by him who led the good thief there.”
Cantalamessa writes in his book, ‘Life in the Lordship of Christ’ ” The divine nature of faith is reveled by the fact that it is practically endless. We can never go far enough in believing; it’s always possible to believe still more. All of God’s grace is at work in leading man to an ever deeper and purer faith, to lead him ‘through faith for faith’ (Rom 1:17) that is from one degree of faith to a more perfect degree, from a faith with signs to a faith without signs. As soon as a believer has overcome some obstacle in faith, God wastes no time in placing a greater obstacle in front of him, and then a still greater one, knowing what reward he is preparing for him with his other hand, until he asks of man what is (humanly speaking) impossible: a leap in the dark. The same thing happens with faith as with the high jump in athletics: at every successful jump, the pole is raised a little higher and so the previous record is continuously beaten even though the final record can still not be foreseen. This wonderful invention of faith by God never fails to amaze us! This glory of heaven, for example, that of Mary, is like a majestic tree rich in branches and fruit but it has grown from a small seed cultivated in the earth. Imagine what we would do if one day an expert in this field were to give us a little box containing a small seed assuring us that it was the only one of its kind in the world which would produce a very rare tree that would make the owner very rich! How we protect it and shelter it from the wind…That what we must do with our faith; it is a seed that produces ‘the fruit of eternal life.'”
At our baptism the priest said these words to the parents, “Dear parents and godparents: you have come here to present this child for baptism. By water and the Holy Spirit he/she is to receive the gift of new life from God, who is love. On your part, you must make it your constant care to bring him/her up in the practice of the faith. See that the divine life which God gives him/her is kept free from the poison of sin, to grow always stronger in his/her heart.”
St Thomas Aquinas said that baptism gives us faith. This faith is the seed of glory. By faith we already start to live the life of heaven. By faith we receive blessing from God. May we water our faith with love and hope. Come Holy Spirit and strengthen our faith.